Cricut Maker vs. Maker 3

Aug 13, 2021 | Cricut Projects, Vinyl Projects


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This post is sponsored by Cricut. The review and opinions are all mine.

cricut maker 3 review

Have you seen the new Cricut Maker 3?  Cricut has done it again with an update to their original Maker – making it possible to create even more amazing crafts with a compact machine. 

What does the Maker 3 do?

Just like the original Cricut Maker, the Maker 3 is a powerful cutting machine.  It cuts 300+ different materials ranging from thin paper to vinyl to wood.  Yep, you can cut some pretty heavy duty stuff like wood, chipboard, and leather!

cricut maker 3 details pricing how to

Speed Comparison of the Maker vs. Maker 3

Cricut touts the Maker 3 as 2x faster than its predecessors.  I wanted to put this to the test.  I did a side-by-side speed test with my Maker and Maker 3.  I used the same design and pressed the “Go” button at the exact same time.  Watch here to see how it turned out:

The Maker 3 is indeed faster.  The difference is probably only important to someone who is doing A LOT of cutting. 

Matless Cutting

This is the feature I was most excited to try with the Cricut Maker 3.  You no longer need to use a mat when cutting Cricut Smart Materials.   

cricut maker 3 roll cutting no mat

I recently used the matless cutting feature to make oversized decorations for a first grade hallway.  Watch this project on Instagram.

Being able to cut from the roll saved me a lot of time when cutting the vinyl for the wall decorations and photo booth.  In Design Space, I arranged all of the teacher names and the wording for the wall as tightly as I could to get the most out of my vinyl.  Not breaking these up into 12×24 mats allowed me to save time and vinyl! 

Do I have to use Cricut Smart Materials?

To cut matless, it’s best to use Cricut Smart Materials.  You can cut Oracal 651 without a mat but here’s why I won’t mess with it….

The vinyl needs to be 13″ wide to fit on the machine without a mat.  Most vinyl rolls come in 12″, 15″ or 24″.  This means you’d need to trim down your vinyl to get it to fit in the Cricut Maker 3 without a mat. 

If you are trimming your vinyl to fit the 13″ width, that defeats the ease of cutting off the roll, in my opinion.

cricut maker vs maker3 difference

Should I Upgrade?

If you have the original Maker, you may be curious if these new features are worth upgrading.  After working with both machines, I want to help you with this decision.

If you make oversized projects, the Maker 3 matless cutting is definitely worth it. 

When making large signs or party decorations with my Maker, I would breakup the design into multiple 11.5″ by 23.5″ pieces to cut on the 12×24 Cricut mat.  With the Maker 3, you can cut up to 12 feet of material at once. This is a game changer for sign makers or anyone who likes to make big projects.

The only downside to the matless cutting, you will need to use Cricut Smart Materials.  The matless cutting is designed for 13″ wide rolls or sheets which is wider than other brands of vinyl. 

If you are a serious crafter, the speed of the Maker 3 is worth it.

Have you seen those crafters who have multiple Cricut machines running at one time?  If you are one of those crafters… or… you’re like me and always working at the last minute, the speed of your cutting machine can make a difference. 

If you are like me and use your machine primarily for screen printing with vinyl, there isn’t a big difference in how the Maker vs. Maker 3 vs. Air 2 vs. Air 3 cuts Oracal 651 vinyl.  Think about what other projects you might want to make.  If it’s heavier material, then definitely check out the Makers.  If you plan to do paper crafting, the Air is a great, affordable machine.

cricut cutting machine vinyl screen printing

Where to buy the Cricut Maker 3

You can find the Cricut Maker 3 at your local craft stores and Target.  The Cricut website is also a great place to purchase these machines and supplies.

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